When CarePartners certified nursing assistant Kelly Robertson goes to work, she doesn’t usually bring a film crew. However in early May, that’s exactly what happened. The day of filming resulted in a three-minute video for the national program VirtualJobShadow.com™ (which was founded eight years ago by Fairview residents Kim Celentano and Ilya Gorelik). The program uses behind-the-scenes videos to help middle and high school students find a career that interests them.
Ironically, Robertson says she had not always planned on becoming a CNA, but that she “fell into it by accident.” Before that, she worked as rehabilitation technician. But when she went back to school to get her CNA certification, she realized that was what she wanted to do. Now she has worked as a CNA with CarePartners for two years.
“A lot of people think that being a CNA is like grunge work. They say it’s not as glamorous as being an ER nurse or an OB nurse, but what I enjoy is that I’m given the opportunity to be hands-on — even if it’s only short-term — with people who really need you the most,” she says. “The services we provide are important for the healing process. Everyone loves to be fed, to be clean, to have that personal contact with somebody. The things we are able to provide for these people makes them feel better. It gives them a sense of self, helps them get some of their integrity back.”
Under the supervision of a registered nurse or a licensed practical nurse, certified nursing assistants help patients with health-care needs. They can work in various environments, like nursing homes, hospitals, adult day care centers, personal homes and assisted living facilities. Robertson works primarily in home health. “It’s not everyday that you’re welcome into someone’s home, and you’ve really got to have a sense of knowing the you’re given a privilege,” says Robertson.
CarePartners, which works with Buncombe County Schools Career and Technical Education Program, sends representatives out to the schools to help as guest instructors for different classes. For example, registered nurse Melissa Harmon, who also appears in the video, visited Owen High School’s health occupations class. While there, she taught students about the home health RN’s supply bag and infection control techniques. Working together with CarePartners, Buncombe County Schools secured a grant to produce this video that will be shown to high school students, both locally and around the country.
“If they know without a doubt that they’re interested in being a CNA, or even be in the health-care field, it gives them a leg up,” Robertson says.
Want to learn more about what Robertson does as a CNA with CarePartners? Watch the video below: